The Mastercard in your wallet has just become a whole lot more fashionable. That’s because the company has revamped its logo for the first time in 20 years, and in doing so has opened its old 1990s-style one to be reminisced and fawned over for years to come.

The new logo isn’t terrible. It’s nicely designed and still has the overlapping red and yellow circles and sans-serif font. The elements are slimmer, cleaner, flatter – but it does seem a bit sterile. At first glance it’s hard to understand why Mastercard even bothered changing it: 2.3 billion people carry the cards and it was one of the most widely seen logos in the world.

But now Mastercard’s business is more than just credit cards. It’s an online payment platform, a digital wallet, and a technology company. “It needs to thrive in a digital space,” says Cindy Chastain, head of Mastercard’s customer experience and design. “It’s simplified. It’s modernized and optimized for relevance in an increasingly digital world.” What that means is that the company want its logo to look great no matter where you see it – on billboards, newspapers, laptop screens, mobiles, smart watches, and pretty much everywhere.

“This is not about being clever,” says Michael Bierut, who designed the new branding. “To me, MasterCard doesn’t want to be known as the company with the ingenious logo; they just want to make sure they’ve got a set of visual assets for them to navigate the world as it is now.”

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